Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Quite simply a treat for the ear.
  2. It's to be expected that the music is going to be wonderful, and it is. But there is more to this film, a surprising amount more.
  3. Think of this movie as a glorified home video rather than a bitingly insightful documentary. But for Garcia and Grisman, this soft-shoe approach couldn't be more appropriate.
  4. Reviewed by: Amanda J. Crawford
    This is a video stroll through a family scrapbook.
  5. The movie has a musical rather than a cinematic shape, defined by songs played in their entirety.
  6. For music fans, there's great pleasure in hearing new audio tracks to "Sitting Here in Limbo," "Friend of the Devil" and more songs -- each one complete and unedited.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    The pure joy of music-making is what this gem of a film is all about.
  8. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    It's especially nice that all the songs on the soundtrack are heard in their entirety, even if the accompanying video footage is sometimes drawn from performances of different vintage.
  9. 70
    Grisman's warm, loving home movie in the guise of a documentary.
  10. 63
    Though there are moderately interesting interviews interspersed throughout, Deadheads will want to see the numbers, in which Grisman's more formal style complements Garcia's looser approach to his music.
  11. You won't find many insights into the personalities, or even a hint of the demons that plagued Garcia until his death, but seeing the two men together -- keeps a smile on your face and your feet tapping throughout.
  12. 63
    A multilayered documentary that explores music and friendship, and in its own quiet way, the battle with fame.
  13. Reviewed by: Geoffrey Gray
    It's like an 80-minute flip through the Grisman family photo album -- complete with live, unreleased soundtrack.
  14. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    The music is fine, but there's little else here to hold the attention of non-Deadheads.
  15. 60
    Grisman presents, with a sense of humor, the apparent contradictions of a complex personality.
  16. A must for any Deadhead and of genuine interest to any music fan, even if its documentary chops hit a few sour notes.
  17. 40
    With no aspects of the personalities represented outside of their music, Grateful Dawg ends up feeling dry and incomplete; its two subjects are stripped of all other characteristics and come across as not very interesting.
  18. 40
    Ultimately, Grateful Dawg will only be of real interest to musicology students and diehard Deadheads.

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